July 19, 2019 | 93° F

Marshall plan needed for Rutgers students as tuition debt mounts

The Marshall Plan was conceived to rescue Europe, specifically Germany — a vanquished foe, which never even signed a peace treaty but just an armistice — from the ravages of World War II.

Our students have now become indentured and financially enslaved to a debt load that will be impossible to repay in their lifetime. In addition, the concept of latches does not apply to these debts. Latches apply to all other debts and even patent litigation. Student debt will be paid by spouses, heirs and grandchildren. I know of a student debt, 40 years old, which was subtracted from income tax refunds unilaterally without the input of the tax payer and, ironically, without the input of the IRS examiners either. These debt collections are farmed out to private companies, which add enormous fees. Who and how do these private companies get the contracts to enforce this enslavement? When will our students achieve manumission?

Foreign faculty at Rutgers, have come to the University without a student debt load nor a desire for U.S. citizenship. This is because their countries, subsidized by the Marshall Plan, gave them free tuition, a stipend and income post-graduation to find an appropriate position. 

Without a Marshall Plan for our students, we will not be competitive to the same countries we subsidized with the Marshall Plan.

It is time the University creates its own Marshall Plan for its students. It is not difficult to do and the reward will be immense in terms of the health and welfare of the American public. After all, a University graduate student, Albert Schatz, discovered streptomycin. This antibiotic treated the gram-negative Mycobacterium tuberculosis which was the cause of the tuberculosis epidemic ravaging the U.S. and the world. 

George Pieczenik is a professor in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences teaching in the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology. 

George Pieczenik

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